NDRRMC’S El Niño-inflicted agri damage figure seen bloated
Data collated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on the damage to agriculture caused by El Niño may have been bloated by local government officials as election campaign starts, the agriculture chief said.
In a television interview, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the agricultural damage inflicted by El Niño was not really P2.67 billion as NDRRMC reported, adding that inflating the figures could be a way of local government officials to get more funds as election campaign starts.
“Some of the reports coming from local government units are bloated and might not be reflective of the real situation on the ground,” he said.
“I’m not saying that everybody’s doing it but some of the local government units (LGUs) may be bloating the damage reports they’re making because … that would allow them to use calamity funds during the election period,” he added.
NDRRMC’s report was considerably bigger than the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) own estimate of P1.33 billion. While the NDRRMC gather its data from LGUs, the DA’s own disaster risk reduction and management council collate data from the agency’s regional offices.
Piñol said they were currently coordinating with NDRRMC to verify the figures.
Local campaign officially started on Friday, which analysts believe could be crucial in pushing President Duterte’s federalism agenda.
About 18,000 seats are up for grabs. According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), campaign for local and national positions will be allowed until May 11, or two days before the elections.
As per Comelec’s implementing rules and regulations, candidates under a political party can spend only P3 per voter while independent candidates can spend P5 per voter.
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